FrontRunners: A Beautiful Game
When Pelé published his autobiography in 1977, he dedicated it to "all the people who have made [soccer] the Beautiful Game." While GRO Design and TIM Modelmakers, a pair of Dutch companies, cannot count themselves among that crowd, they did work wonders with soccer’s tabletop incarnation, foosball, when they created the $45,000 11 the Beautiful Game (www.eleventhegame.com). The two companies, which have been collaborating for the last 15 years on home items such as electronics and furniture, introduced 11—named for the number of figures on each team—last April at Milan Design Week, a showcase for high-end home furnishings. The sleek, minimalist table, which will be available for purchase in March, measures about 4 feet by 2.3 feet and is populated by 22 figures attached to eight rotating rods. The numbers on the figures can be customized in either ink or jewels, and the table features such special effects as lights that flash when a player scores. However, 11 does not include sound effects, so you will have to provide your own call of "Gooooal!"